Superpower signifies supremacy, authority, dominion and the strength to implement and influence a crisis or resolve it. The permanent members of the UN, that is US, Russia, Britain, France and China are the main super powers today. The UN, with the help of these super powers sometimes settles disputes, sometimes imposes sanctions and sometimes simply acts as a bystander. When the World War I began, Germany was annexing country after country in Europe but it did not have any designs on the US. The US extended the war to help the Allies and prevent Germany from conquering Europe. The US believed that if it did not interfere at that point of time, the war could have reached its shores. In the World War II, the Japanese onslaught was curtailed with the use of the atomic bomb. The formation of UN was an idealistic promise of peace on the earth after World War-II. Sadly, this was also the beginning of the race for nuclear weapons on earth which meant that either you possessed them or joined the group headed by the country that did. America and Soviet Union had their own nuclear arsenals and allies which they promised to protect. After the demise of Soviet Union, the cold war came to an end and the US became the sole supreme power. Since then, this world is being run by politicians funded by industrialists and entrepreneurs. Pollution, deforestation, animal extinction and global warming are the outcome of their greedy exploitation of the earth. The superpowers have the technology to conquer disease and wealth to alleviate poverty but, unfortunately, they also have the means to destroy civilisations other than theirs. Man is by nature a control freak who wants to play God whenever he gets the opportunity for it. Superpowers need compassion rather than more power if they are to prevent conflicts today and in the future. -KEHAAN HUSSAIN MAJEE, January 24.